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Full text of "The worker in sandalwood [microform]"

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lii 



Canadian Inatltiita for Historical MIcraraproduetiora / InstHut Canadian da mleroraproduetlona hittoriquaa 





995 



Technical and Bibliographic Notes / Notes technique et biWiographiques 



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I I Addffional comments/ 

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Thii Itm is fihTMd at tlw rtduetion ratio ehaekad balow/ 

Ct documant an f ilmi au <au« da rMuction indiqirf ci-desMus. 

lox 14X lax 



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Th« copy fllmad h«r* hat bacn raproduead thanha 
to itia ganarnity of: 



McMastar University 
Hamilton, Ontario 



Tha imagat appaaring hara ara tha baat qiialltv 
poaaibla canaidaring tha condition and laglbility 
of tha original copy and in liaaping with tha 
fliming eontraet apaelfieationa. 



Original eopiaa in printad papar eovara ara fUmad 
baginning with tha front eovar and anding on 
tha laat paga with a printad or illuatratad impraa- 
aion. or tha back eovar whan appropriata. All 
othar original coplaa ara fllmad baginning on tha 
firat paga with a printad or illuatratad Impraa- 
aion. and anding on tha iaat paga with a printad 
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Mapa. piataa, cham. ate. may ba fllmad at 
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antiraiy inetudad in ona axpoaura ara fllmad 
baginning in tha uppar iaft hand eornar, iaft to 
right and top to bottom, aa many framaa aa 
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-iBathod: 



1 2 3 



1 2 

4 5 



L'aiamplair* film* ful raproduil grie* t la 
gtnArotiU da: 

McMastar University 
Hamilton, Ontario 

Laa imagat iuivantaa ont M raproduiiat avae la 
plua grand tain, eompta tanu da la condition at 
da la nattat* da raxamplaira film*, at an 
oonformlta avae laa eondltiona du eontrat da 
fllmaga. 

Laa axamplalraa origlnaui dont la couvartura an 
papiar aat Imprimto font fllmto an commandant 
par la pramlar plat at an tarmlnant toit par la 
darnitra paga qui comporta una amprainta 
d'Impraaalon ou d'llluatrailon. toit par la lacond 
plat, talon la caa. Tout lat autraa axamplairat 
originaux torn fllmto an commandant par la 
pramltra paga qui comporta una amprainta 
d'Impraaalon ou d'illuttration at an tarminant par 
la darnMra paga qui comporta una talla 
amprainta. 

Un daa aymbolaa tuivantt apparaltra tur la 
darnitra imaga da chaqua microficha, talon la 
cat: la aymbola —^ lignifit "A SUIVRE", la 
tymbola ▼ tignifia "FIN". 

Lat eartaa. planchat, tablaaux. ate. pauvant itra 
fllmto 1 daa taux da rMuction dlfftrantt. 
Lortqua la documant atl trop grand pour ttra 
raproduit an un taul cllcM. il aat filma A partir 
da I'angla tupiriaur gaucha, da gaucha i droita. 
at da haul an baa. an pronant la nombra 
d'imagm ntoaataira. Laa diagrammat tuivantt 
illuatrant la mdtfioda. 




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3 


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MKIOCOrY HOOIUTION TBT OUVT 

(ANSI and ISO TEST CNMT No. 2) 




/APPLIED M/OE Ine 

r- 1SS3 tati Main StrMt 

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(71 6) 482 - 0300 - Phona 

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1*14 

EVERYLAND 

IMF1tkA««M 



THE WORKER IN SANDALWOOD 



<i 




THE WORKER 

IN 
SANDALWOOD 




good cure of Tenninai- 
son says that this tale of 
Hyacinthe's is all a dream. 
But then Madame points triumphantly to 
the little cabinet of sandalwood in the cor- 
ner of her loom. It has stood there for 
many years now, and the dust has gath- 
ered in the fine lines of the little birds' 
feathers, and softened the petals of the 
lilies carved at the comers. And the 
wooc has taken on a golden gleam like 
the memory of a sunset. 

"What of that my friend?" says Mad- 
ame, pointing to the cabinet. And the 
old cure bows his head. 

"It may be so. God is very good," 
he says gently. But he is never quite sure 
what he may believe. 



On that winter day long ago, Hya- 
cinthe was quite lure of one thing, and 
that was that the worUiop was very cold. 
There was no fire in it, and only one little 
lamp when the early dark drew on. The 
tools were so cold they scorched his fin- 
gers, and his feet were so cold he danced 
clumsily in the shavings to warm them. 
He was a great clumsy boy of fourteen, 
dark-faced, dull-eyed, and uncared for. 
He was clumsy because it is impossible to 
be graceful when you are growing very 
fast and have not enough to eat. He was 
dull-eyed because all eyes met his unlov- 
ingly. He was uncared for because no 
one knew the beauty of his soul. But his 
heavy young hands could carve things like 
birds and flowers perfectly. On this win- 
ter evening he was just wondering if he 
mi^t lay aside the tools, and creep home 
to the cold loft where he slept, when he 
heard Pierre L'Oreillard's voice shouting 
outside. 

"Be quick, be quick, and open the 
door, thou iV decile. It is I, thy master." 

"Our, mon mdilre," said Hyacinthe, 
and he shambled to the door and opened 
it. 



^.^ 



iii: 



"Slow wonni" cried Pierre, and he'^S^ 
cutfed Hyacindie as he passed in. Hya- ^ 
cinthe nibbed his head and said nothing. 
He was used to blows. He wondered 
why his master was in the workshop at 
that time of day instead of drinking 
I randy at the Cinq Chateaux. 

Pierre L'Oreillard had a small heavy 
bundle under his ann, wrapped in sack- 
ing, and then in burlap, and then in line 
soft cloths. He laid it on a pile of shav- 
ings, and unfolded it carefully; and a dim 
sweetness filled the dark shed and hung 
heavily in the thin winter sunbeams. 

"It is a piece of wood," said Hya- 
cinthe in slow surprise. He knew that 
such wood had never been seen in Ter- 
minaison. 

Pierre L'Oreillard rubbed the wood 
respectfully with his knobby fingers. 

"It is sandalwood," he explained to 
Hyacinthe, pride of knowledge making 
him quite amiable, "a most precious wood 
that glows in wami countries, thou great 
goblin. Smell it, idiot. It is sweeter than 
cedar. It is to make a cabinet for the old 
Madame at the big house." 




iif 



"Be quick, ie Quick '"«' open 
the door, thou imbecile. It is 
I, thji master." 



i^ 



"Out, mon maitre," laid the dull Hya- 
cinthe. 

"Thy great hands ihall ihape and 
•mooth the wood, nigaud, and I will ren- 
der it beautiful," said Pierre, puffing out 
his chest. 

"Yes, master," answered Hyacinthe 
humbly, "and when is it to be ready for 
Madame?" 

"Madame will want it peihaps next 
week, for that is Christmas. It is to be 
finished and ready on the holy festival, 
great sluggard. Hearest thou>" and he 
cutfed Hyacinthe's ears again furiously. 

Hyacinthe knew that the making of the 
cabinet would fall to him, as most of the 
other work did. When Pierre L'Oreil- 
lard was gone he touched the strange 
sweet wood and at last laid his cheek 
against it, while the f rangrance caught his 
breath. "How it is beautiful ! " said Hya- 
cinthe, and for a moment his eyes glowed, 
and he was happy. Then the light passed, 
and with bent head he shuffled back to 
his bench through a foam of white shav- 
ings curling almost to his knees. 

"Madame will want the cabinet for 
Christmas," repeated Hyacinthe to him- 






lelf, and fell to woik harder than ever, 
though it wa$ lo cold in the ahed that hit 
breath hung id the air like a Uttle lilveiy 
cloud. There wat a tiny window on hit 
right, through which, when it wat clear of 
frott, one looked on Terminaiton; and 
that wat cheerful, and made him whittle. 
But to the left, through the chink of the 
ill-6tting door, there wat nothing to be 
teen but the forett, and the road dying 
away in it, and the treet moving heavily 
under the tnow. 

Brandy Wat good at the Cinq Cha- 
teaux and Pierre L'Oreillard gave Hya- 
cinthe plenty of direction!, but no furdier 
help with the cabinet. 

"That it to be finished for Madame at 
the festival, sluggard," said he every day, 
cuffing Hyacmthe about the head, "fin- 
ished, and with a prettinett about the cor- 
ners, heaiest thou, ounonf" 

"Yes, monsieur," said Hyacinthe in his 
slow way; "I will try to finish it. But if 
I hurry I shall spoil it." 

Pierre's little eyes flickered. "See that 
it is done, and done properly. I suffer 
from a delicacy of the constitution and a 
little feebleness of the legs these days, to 



*i 



iij 



iliat I cannot handle the tools properiy. I 
mutt leave diii work to thee, gieheur. 
And stand up and touch a hand to thy 
cap when I ipeak to thee, »Iow-wonn." 

"Yet, montieur," said Hyacindie 
wearily. 

It it hard to do all the work and to be 
beaten into the bargain. And fourteen it 
not very old. Hyacindie worked on at 
tlie cabinet with hit tlow and exquitite 
ikill. But on Chriitmai eve he was ttill 
a work, and the cabinet unfinithed. 

"The nutter will beat me," thought 
Hyacinthe, and he trembled a little, for 
Pierre't beatingt were cruel. "But if I 
hurry, I tiiall tpoil the wood, and it it too 
beautiful to be ipoiled." 

But he trembled again when Pierre 
came into the workdiop, and he ttood up 
and touched hit cap. 

"It the cabinet finished, imbecile?" 
asked Pierre. And Hyacinthe antwered 
in a low voice, "No, it it not finithed yet, 
monsieur." 

"Then work on it all night, and show it 
to me completed in the morning, or thy 
bones shall mourn thine idleness," said 
Pierre, with a wicked look in his little 






cya. And he ihut Hyacinihe into ihe 
ihed with a imoky lamp, hi* tools, and 
the sandalwood cabinet. 

It was nothing unusual. He had been 
often left before to finish a piece of work 
overnight while Pierre went otf to his 
brandies. But this was Christmas eve, 
and he was very tired. Even the scent 
of the sandalwood could not make him 
fancy he was warm. The world seemed 
to be a black place, full of suffering and 
despair. ^ 

"In all the world, 1 have no friend," 
said Hyacinthe, staring at the flame of the 
lamp. "In all the world, there is no one 
to care whether I live or die. In all the 
world, no place, no heart, no love. O 
kind God, is there a place, a love for me 
in another world?" 

I hope you feel very sorry for Hya- 
cinthe, lonely, and cold, and hungry, shut 
up in the workshop on the eve of Christ- 
mas. He was but an overgrown, unhappy 
child. And I think with old Madame 
that for unhappy children, at this season, 
no help seems too divine for faith. 

"There is no one to care for me," ^id 
Hyacinthe. And he even looked at the 



To 

I 



child in hit hand, thinking that by a touch 
of that he might lose it all. and be at 
peace, (omewhere not far from God. 
Only it wa« forbidden. Then came the 
tears, and great lobs that shook him. so / 
that he scarcely lu ;d the gentle rattling ^ 
of the latch. g 

He stumbled to the door, opening it on ^ 
the still woods and the frosty stars. And 
a lad who stood outside in the snow said, 
"I see you are working late, comrade. 
May I come in?" 

Hyacinlhe brushed his ragged sleeve 
across his eyes and nodded "Yes." 1 hose 
little villages strung along the great river 
see strange wayfarers at times. And 
Hyacinthe said to himself that surely here 
was such a one. Blinking into the stran- 
ger's eyes, he lost for a flash the first 
impression of youth, and received one of 
some incredible age or sadness. But the 
wanderer's eyes were only quiet, very 
quiet, like the little pools in the wood 
where the wild does went to drink. As 
he turned within the door, smiling at Hya- 
cinthe and shaking some snow from his 
cap, he did not seem to be more than six- 
teen or so. 



""'^^^^fTYUBRMr 



> 



"It it very cold outade." he mmL 
"There i« • big oak tree on the edge of 
the fieldf that hM iplit in the fro*l and 
frightened all the little tquineli asleep 
there. Next year it will make an even 
better home for them. And lee what I 
found cloie by I" He opened hit finger* 
and showed Hyacinthe a little sparrow 
lying unruffled in the palm. 

"Pauvrellel" said the dull Hyacinthe. 
"Pauvretlel I* it then dead)" He 
touched it >t(ith a gende forefinger. 

"No," answered the stran-re boy, "it it 
not dead. We will put it here among the 
shaving*, not far from the lamp, and it 
will be well by die morning." 

He nailed at Hyacinthe again, and die 
shambling lad felt dimly as if the scent of 
the sandalwood were sweeter, and the 
lamp-flame clearer. But the stranger's 
eyes were only quiet, quiet. 

"Have you come far?" asked Hya- 
cinthe. "It is a bad season for traveling, 
and the wolves are out." 

"A long way," saia the other. "A 
long, long way. I heard a child cry " 

"There is no child here," put in Hya- 
cinthe. "Monsieur L'Oreillard says chil- 




"/ see fou are vmlpng late, 
comrait. Maf I come inf" 



dren cost too much money. But if you 
have come far, you must need food and 
fire, and I have neither. At the Cinq 
Chateaux you will find both." 

Tlie stranger looked at him again vyith 
those quiet eyes, and Hyacinthe fancied 
that his face was familiar. "I will stay 
here," he said ; "you are late at work, and 
you are unhappy." 

"Why as to that," answered Hya- 
cinthe, rubbing his cheeks and ashamed of 
his tears, "nvost of us are sad at one time 
or another, the good God knows. Stay 
here and welcome if it pleases you; and 
you may take a share of my bed, though 
it is no more th^r; u pile of balsam boughs 
and an old blanket in the loft. But I 
must work at this cabinet, for the drawers 
must be finished and the handles put on 
and the comers carved, all by the holy 
morning; or my wages will be paid with 
a stick." 

"You have a hard master," put in the 
other, "if he would pay you with blows 
upon the feast of Noel." 

"He is hard enou^," said Hyacinthe, 
"but once he gave me a dinner of sau- 
sages and white wine; and once, in the 



summer, melons. If my eyes will 
open, I will finish this by morning, 
with me an hour or so, comrade, and talk 
to me of your travels, so that the time may 
pass more quickly." 

"I will tell you of the country where I 
was a child," answered the stranger. 

And while Hyacinthe worked, he told, 
— of sunshine and dust, of the shadow of 
vine-leaves on the flat white walls of a 
house; of rosy doves on the roof; of the 
flowers that come out in the spring, anemo- 
nes crimson and blue, and white cyclamen 
in the shadow of the rocks; of the olive, 
the myrtle, and the almond; until Hya- 
cinthe's fingers ceased working, and his 
sleepy eyes blinked wonderingly. 

"Seo what you have done, comrade," 
he said at last, "you have told me of such 
pretty things that I have done but little 
work for an hour. And now the cabinet 
will never be finished, and I shall be 
beaten." 

"Let me help you," smiled the other, 
"I also was bred a carpenter." 

At first Hyacinthe would not, fearing 
to trust the sweet wood out of his own 
hands. But at length he allowed the 



11 stay M^ 
Stay ifjL 



\ 



stranger to fit in one of the little drawer*. 
And M deftly was it done that Hya- 
cinthe pounded his fists on the bench in 
admiration. "You have a pretty knack." 
he cried. "It seemed as if you did but 
hold the drawer in your hands a moment, 
and hey I hoi it jumped into its place." 

"Let me fit in the other little drawers 
while you rest awhile," said the stranger. 
So Hyacinthe curled up among the shav- 
ings, and the odier boy fell to work upon . 
the little cabinet of sandalwood. 

Hyacinthe was very tired. He lay 
still among the Savings, and thought of 
all the other boy had told him, of the hill- 
side flowers, the lauding leaves, the 
golden bloom of the anise, and the golden 
sun upon the roads until he was warm. 
And all the time the boy with the quiet 
eyes was at work upon die cabinet, 
smoothing, fitting, polishing. 

"You do better work than I." said 
Hyacinthe once, and the stranger an- 
swered, "I was lovingly tau{^t." And 
again Hyacinthe said, "It is growing to- 
wards morning. In a little while I will 
get up and help you." 



"Lie still and rest," said the other boy. 
And Hyacinthe lay still. His thoughts 
began to slide into dreams, and he woke 
with a little start, for there seemed to be 
music in the shed; thou^ he could not tell 
whether it came from the strange boy's 
lips, or from die shabby tools as he used 
them, or from the stars. 

rhe stars are much paler," thought 
Hyacinthe. "Soon it will be morning, 
and the comers are not carved yet. I 
must get up and help this kind one in a 
little moment. Only the music and the 
sweetness seem to fold me close, so that I 
may not move." 

Then behmd the forest there shone a 
pale glow of dawn, and in Terminaison 
the church bells began to ring. "Day will 
soon be here," thought Hycuinthe, "and 
with day will come Monsieur L'Oreillard 
and his stick. I must get up and help, 
for even yet the comers are not carved." 

But the stranger looked at him, smiling 
as though he loved him, and laid his 
brown finger lig}>*ly on the four empty 
comers of the ci inet. And Hyacinthe^ 
saw the squares of reddish wood ripple 
and heave and break, as little clouds when . 



L' the wind goes throu«}i the iky. And out 

^ of them thrust forth die little birds, and 

■ %^ after them the lilies, for a moment living; 

W but even as Hyacinthe looked, settling 

back into the sweet reddish-brown wood. 

Then the stranger smiled again, laid all 

the tools in order, and. opening the door, 

went away into the woods. 

Hyacinthe crept slowly to the door. 
The winter sun, half risen, filled all the 
frosty air with splendid goki. Far down 
the road a figwe seemed to move amid the 
glory, but the splendor was such that 
Hyacinthe was bl'nded. His breath came 
sharply as the glow beat on the wretched 
shed, on the old Savings, on the cabinet 
with the little birds and the lilies carved at 
the comers. 

He was too pure of heart to feel afraid. 
But "Blessed be the Lord," whiq>ered 
Hyacinthe, clasping his slow hands, "for 
he hath visited and redeemed His people. 
But who will believe?" 

Then the sun of Christ's day rose glori- 
ously, and the little sparrow came from 
his nest among the shavings and shook his 
Wings to the Iig}it.